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PONO - Neil Youngs portable hi-res music player

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by currawong, Sep 28, 2012.
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  1. PalJoey
    There has been a lot written about Pono since the Kickstarter success made the news. Half of what I've read tells me that the authors weren't exactly paying attention... or are just a bit ignorant.
  2. eron
    I think a flawless UI includes being able to search for songs easily on the 64GB+ flash. How they implement that on a tiny touchscreen and 3 buttons is beyond me. The iPod nano works because there's the click wheel.
  3. Marburger

     according to pictures, it will "like 7gen ipod nano", so play,pause, next track etc. will be done through screen, only return button is needed ( this O button in the pictures). Hopefully it will be much faster then my ibasso, hifiman IU. Then I will be in the first in line who will buy it :)
    Besides, creating music ecosystem with fully compatible music with own player is very appealing to me. I mean correct tags and album cover  with pono player.
  4. PalJoey
    Even if the Pono project fizzles out, if it kickstarts (see what I did there?) iTunes and Amazon to offer better-then-MP3 downloads, it will have achieved something good.
  5. inertianinja
    I'm relatively new to the scene, and I fully support their effort, but I can immediately see a few problems, in light of Pono's stated goal of popularizing HD music:
    - the player itself does not have the aesthetics that appeal to the mass market. There is a form factor that sells (iPod Touch), and this thing has the looks of the Cambrian Explosion of MP3 players from back in the early 2000s.
    - the player itself isn't shaped properly for those enthusiasts who create a "mobile rig" by pairing a mobile player with a headphone amp. so it's instantly got a problem in competing with the tons of other players out there.
    - most people use the headphones that came with their device. it does not ship with headphones, so if anyone in the "mass market" buys this, they may end up pairing it with frigging apple earbuds.
    - the HD music files won't play on the ubiquitous iOS devices.
    - we have no idea what their music ecosystem will be like.
    So the question is, who is this for?
    Is it for the audiophile? well, that guy probably already has good headphones, but might not be able to drive them with this device, and probably knows about the tons of other players on the market that are compatible with Pono's files and can actually be stacked on top of their portable amp. Maybe they're going to buy the Fiio X5 or iPod Classic instead.
    Is it for the iPod Touch / iPhone / Galaxy S4 user? I think this player is a HARD sell for that buyer. "Leave the Apple ecosystem, forget about your retina display, abandon your apps, abandon iTunes, buy new headphones, come buy this weird triangle-shaped player."  
    Again, I support their effort. But they've made some odd choices.
    bcarr112281 likes this.
  6. meat01 Contributor
    If by something good you mean having to invest in another media format, then yes.

    I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of spending money on yet another media format.
  7. doublea71

    It's going to be a hard sell for the mass market for sure. People who already care about sound quality may give it a try, but there are other options already and more are on the way.
  8. inertianinja
    As I had mentioned above, my ideal scenario here is that Pono gets enough attention to have Apple offer an "iTunes Match Pro" that provides upgrades of one's music library to native ALAC files, maybe a new verison of iTunes that supports versioning (choose 256 AAC for some scenarios, ALAC for others). And i'm not even an iOS user.
  9. doublea71
    I think Apple would only do that if they felt significant market share was at stake, but I could be wrong - we already have 4k TV sets, so it's about time audio started catching up imo.
  10. Marburger
    - I suppose the aesthetics of Pono is not designed  for masses at all. Honestly i like that it has distinguishable look with bold colors from other square shaped always black players, where other  players  beg to be paired with portable amps, simply killing portability factor in the end :). Why should I buy hifi player, when i can not enjoy it without amp?  For those who like stacks, they can go always to cypher labs etc. Niche in the niche market, where everyone has a choice and it is fine to me. 
    -I have repeated it many times, the most important to me is stable and logical  FW and build quality. I had enough headache with others (will not mention by name),  when my player often freezes, has lags, and falling apart, it will kill all joy of its SQ. So "well made american hifi player'' is always welcome. (btw i am not american)       
    Ordinary ipod-user will not look it at all, since the  8 hours of playtime of Pono is sufficient to them to stay away. Ordinary audiophile must always suffer from short playtime and big size, like i do with ''X''player :). It is our karma :)   
  11. skamp

    I think they went for "iconic". Sadly, Jony Ive wasn't available for hire, and they failed horribly.
    epithetless likes this.
  12. JacobLee89
    Careful now. If he was, he may just bust the kickstarter funds on just deciding where to put the output jack.
  13. Replicant187

    so you don't support the idea of high resolution audio?
  14. Steve Eddy

    I'd like to see support for the idea that anyone can actually hear the difference between high resolution and 16/44. High resolution is great in the studio while doing signal processing and the like, but I've not seen any convincing evidence that anyone can actually hear the difference once it has been decimated to 16/44.

    epithetless likes this.
  15. Kokomo O
    Interestingly, I think the real problem with both Pono and every other player out there, including the big iPod, is one of capacity. I've got an external hard drive with about 420GB of music on it, about 120GB of which is in HD formats, almost all 24/96 or 24/192. I've got an older 160GB iPod classic. And I insist on carrying all my digital music. So what do I do? I compress it into 256kb/min MP3, which is acceptable for the car, just barely acceptable to listen to through a headphone amp and headphones when I travel, but I also take a copy of that music library with me to play on the laptop.
    What I really need, for today and a couple of years out, is a player with a terabyte of internal storage, because I certainly don't want to be fooling around with little cards that I'm going to drop between my car seat and my console. Now, maybe a terabyte is not really feasible yet, but when it is, I'll jump on it. Clearly, 256GB is feasible, and if that's true, then 512GB should be as well. So maybe that's where they ought to start, and I'd buy that today and then buy the terabyte player when it becomes available.
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